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Christie Vetoes Proposed Prison Confinement Rules

TRENTON, NJ (CBS) -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has vetoed proposed legislation that would limit the use of solitary confinement within state prisons.

In a three page veto message, Christie says his Administration has followed federal and professional standards, and segregates inmates "when medically necessary or to ensure the safety and security" of inmates and prison staff.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which helped sponsors draft the bill, would beg to differ.

Senior Staff Attorney Alexander Shalom told KYW Newsradio, "We consulted with county jail wardens, consulted with unions who represent corrections officers to try and have a bill that reflected the best practices in the field."

On the other hand, Shalom added "Governor Christie's Administration was never interested in participating in conversations about how to make New Jersey jails and prisons safer and fairer."

Christie's veto message said the measure "seeks to resolve a problem that does not exist in New Jersey, because the Department of Corrections in this Administration does not use isolated confinement, as contemplated by the bill."

Shalom says sponsors may attempt to override Christie's veto, or more likely attempt to get it passed after January 2018, when a new Governor will be in office.

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